New law jeopardizes ethnic studies classes

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A month from now, a new law will jeopardize ethnic studies within the Tucson Unified School District. Sunday, one group that calls itself neutral is calling for a review of these classes.

Attorney General Elect Tom Horne, spent the latter part of his career as the Arizona schools chief taking aim at TUSD Mexican-American studies.

Then came the passage of a law banning the courses based off the idea they promote racism. Now a group called Tucsonans United for a Sound District wants the classes reviewed by an independent panel.

"I'd focus on assignments that were given, I'd focus on tests and then I'd also say that the people on the panel should have the opportunity to make unannounced visits."

Former educator, Rich Kronberg says the review would be to the benefit of students and teachers.

"We don't need to get to the circumstance where the state says we're taking 10% of your funding and the district has to go to court to prevent that," said Kronberg

"If you evaluate all programs, there is no problem but it appears that this is isolating one program," said Kronberg.

Roberto Rodriguez is a member of the TUSD Mexican-American Studies Advisory Board.  He believes the review is another attempt to eliminate the courses.

"Supposed hate or segregation or all those things that they talk about I'd like to see it.  I know for a fact they don't teach that," said Rodriguez

Rodriguez cites high graduation rates and the number of students who continue to college. Tucsonans United for a Sound District sent a letter to the TUSD governing board describing their proposal.

The group awaits a response.

The group also claims it has the support of at least two TUSD board members, and again claims it has no stake in the findings of the proposed review.